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ESPN'S Zach Lowe calls it the Kyrie Irving-Al Horford mind meld. In his article this morning, he also referred to the interaction between the two stars as "wizardry". There are all kinds of things I can do with the Irving/mind-meld/wizardry thing, but I will control myself.


I think most Celtics fans simply think of it as a partnership between two team mates. But the two stars do seem to click big time. So soon in the season, they are gelling as a potent offensive duo. It is amazing how quickly it has happened. Here is ESPN's Zach Lowe on the speed of the partnership's development.

In two months, Horford and Irving have established a level of wink-wink mind-meld other tandems can't approach after five years together. Their give-and-go game is already one of the prettiest in the league.

I wrote previously in CelticsLife
about Kyrie and Al both being in the top-10 rankings for NBA MVP. They are both having a terrific season, but the important point is that much of their individual success comes from their effectiveness as a tandem. Here is Zach Lowe once again on his view of the current Celtics team:

I'm not sure Horford has played with this kind of constant aggression in his career. It's as if Irving has injected him with some swagger. Horford is driving full-speed when defenders rush to close out on his jumper, dunking on people, and zipping touch passes the moment the ball hits his fingertips. Is Al Horford -- placid, unselfish Al Horford -- showing off just a little?

Skeptics worried Boston chose glamour over grit in sending Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder out to make way for Irving and Gordon Hayward. Nope. They lead the league in points allowed per possession, and they are fourth in defensive rebounding. Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Horford, Aron Baynes, Daniel Theis and Semi Ojeleye provide plenty of grit, and Marcus Morris will assume a larger role soon.

The guards are gang rebounding fiends. Ojeleye has quick feet on defense. Theis is a banger who can shoot a little and pass. Baynes is a walking cement wall. Brown can defend almost every position, and everyone is talking to each other on switches. Jayson Tatum plays like a five-year veteran.

Brown and Tatum are shooting well enough from deep -- 44 percent combined -- that Smart can roam the interior when they all play together. The lineup of Irving, Smart, Brown, Tatum and Horford is off to a nice start, and could become Boston's go-to crunch-time group -- this season's "IT and D." Imagine when Hayward is available next season to replace one of the wings? Look out.

First of all, I loved the "Baynes is a walking cement wall". Is that what Tommy Heinsohn meant? And the guards as rebounding fiends is right on. Kyrie as a wizard? He needs someone to do a mind-meld on him to probe his thinking. I still view his flat earth statements as intellectual play. A pipe viewed from the end is a two-dimensional circle. Viewed from the side, it is a two-dimensional rectangle. The earth viewed by us is a two-dimensional landscape. We can't see the third dimension.

Is Kyrie a wizard? He sure as hell is on the court. Can someone give him a magic wand to get Jayson Tatum, Horford and Gordon Hayward back ASAP. We need the wizardry.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Top photo via Nancy Lane/Boston Herald
Bottom photo via youtube/luckysurfer.sci-fi

Tom Lane 11/10/2017 01:54:00 PM Edit
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